Bytedance’s short video app Douyin has surpassed 400 million daily active users (DAU), according to its 2019 annual report released on Sunday.

Why it matters: Douyin has been facing fierce competition from rival short video platform Kuaishou, which entered “battle mode” in June in an effort to boost its DAU to 300 million by the end of January.

  • The number of overlapping users on Douyin and Kuaishou in June 2019 more than doubled year on year to 158.8 million, according to a report from research firm Quest Mobile.

Details: Douyin’s DAU surged more than 25% from the 320 million figure announced in July, according to the release.

  • The annual report also highlighted Douyin’s original music push amid Bytedance’s stalemate with major global music labels, which have been seeking higher royalties. The top nine out of the 10 most frequently used songs on Douyin in 2019 were created by independent Chinese musicians.
  • The report also includes statistics about educational content on Douyin. Content creators made close to 14.9 million educational short videos last year, each reaching an average of 100,000 users.

Context: Despite being locked in an intense rivalry with Tencent-backed Kuaishou, Bytedance has managed to maintain solid user base growth.

  • Bytedance’s total DAU across its apps grew 16.7% year on year in the first six months of 2019 to 700 million, the company said in July.
  • According to a report from media outlet LatePost, Kuaishou was close to completing a $3 billion Series F led by Tencent in December 2019.
  • In October, Kuaishou broke its goal into two parts: reaching a “peak” DAU of 300 million before the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 24 this year, and achieving average DAU of 300 million for the three months after the holiday.
  • In order to achieve this goal, Kuaishou will give away RMB 1.1 billion worth of cash rewards to create hype for the upcoming Spring Festival Gala, an annual TV event held by China Central Television. Kuaishou is the exclusive interactive partner for the event.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com More by Tony Xu

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